Rogers Bridge Project Earns 2022 ASCE Georgia Section Civil Engineering Project of Merit Award

The Rogers Bridge project over the Chattahoochee River in Duluth, Georgia earned the 2022 ASCE Georgia Section Civil Engineering Project of Merit Award for the demolition of the 100-year truss.

Pictured from left to right in image DSC076242 Raj Anand, PE – Heath and Lineback Engineers Inc, (Construction Engineering Team) Masood Shabazaz, PE, SE, CBI – Heath and Lineback Engineers Inc, (Construction Engineering Team) Shawn Springston – Astra Group, LLC (Contractor) Receiving award from – Julie Secrist, PE – President of ASCE Georgia Section

Astra Group LLC collaborated with Heath & Lineback Engineers Inc. to remove and demolish Historic Rogers Bridge, built in the early 1900’s over the Chattahoochee River. A 700-ton crane was used to execute the engineered critical lift. The removal made way for a replica pedestrian-friendly bridge to be constructed between Gwinnett and Fulton counties. The ASCE Georgia Section Project of Merit Awards are given to impactful projects showcasing contribution to communities, resourcefulness in planning and solving design challenges and innovations in construction and in the use of materials and methods.

The Georgia Section of ASCE is the Georgia arm of the national organization, The American Society of Civil Engineers. We are a professional organization who strives to provide essential value to our members and partners that includes supporting and promoting Georgia Civil Engineers and providing training and networking opportunities. We also strive to advance public knowledge of civil engineering and serve the public good.

The City of Duluth, in partnership with the City of Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County installed a large section of the new pedestrian bridge at Rogers Bridge Park on June 10, 2022.

The newly placed truss is the same 228’ in length as the original, with a similar design. However, the new model is significantly heavier weighing in at 287,000 lbs. The original truss was a mere 170,000 lbs in comparison. The truss was prefabricated and then welded and assembled on-site. Assembly took two weeks, and 47 tractor trailer loads of truss pieces. Once it was ready to be installed, an 825-ton Demag Crawler with 1.4 million lbs. of counterweights was required to safely move the massive structure into its final home over the Chattahoochee River.

Timelapse of Truss Install: https://youtu.be/d49SMhmytqk

The Cities of Duluth & Johns Creek Make Progress on New Pedestrian Bridge

The City of Duluth, in partnership with the City of Johns Creek, Gwinnett County and Fulton County installed a large section of the new pedestrian bridge at Rogers Bridge Park on June 10, 2022.

The newly placed truss is the same 228’ in length as the original, with a similar design. However, the new model is significantly heavier weighing in at 287,000 lbs. The original truss was a mere 170,000 lbs in comparison. The truss was prefabricated and then welded and assembled on-site. Assembly took two weeks and 47 loads tractor trailer loads of truss pieces. Once it was ready to be installed, an 825-ton Demag Crawler with 1.4 million lbs. of counterweights was required to safely move the massive structure into its final home over the Chattahoochee River.

This is a project 15 years in the making! In 2006, Gwinnett County commissioned a study of Rogers Bridge to determine its structural integrity. The goal was to repurpose the bridge for pedestrians and in doing so, reconnect the communities on each side of the Chattahoochee River. In 2014, the City of Duluth took over the project and confirmed the study results. Duluth then applied for a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission in order to develop construction plans for the bridge. The grant provided $560,000 to the City and required a local match in the amount of $140,000. As the project is of regional significance, Duluth teamed up with the City of Johns Creek and Fulton and Gwinnett Counties to come up with the $140,000 match. Evenly split, each local partner contributed $35,000 toward what is referred to as the “preconstruction” effort, which culminated in the development of construction plans.

At the time the plans were in their initial stages of development, it was not yet known if the bridge would be rehabilitated or replaced. Along the preconstruction journey, it was determined that the existing bridge was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places due to its unique construction method. The existing bridge was a 228’ long pin-connected Pennsylvania Petit truss. As such, the design team carefully documented the bridge’s history as well as its current condition. Ultimately, the Department of Natural Resources agreed the bridge could not be salvaged as is and approved its replacement. Concurrently, the preconstruction team reached out to citizens and stakeholders through various meetings and public open houses held in multiple locations (in multiple languages) to gain feedback as to what the ultimate users of the facility would want. Participants voted on their favored selection of bridge type and it was ultimately determined that a replica truss would best suit the needs of the end users. Both Councils and both Commissions concurred and the design team moved forward with developing construction plans for the replica truss.

The preconstruction process took about 4 years to complete and followed strict state and federal guidelines. Once again, the City reached out to the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation to assist with funding of the construction. And again, the four local partners came together, this time to participate with $350,000 each for a local match of $1,400,000. GDOT covered approximately $700,000. And ARC covered the remaining approximate $5,100,000. We anticipate the bridge to be completed later this year, officially connecting the City of Duluth and Johns Creek parks!

The City of Duluth would like to thank all our partners, without whom this project would not have been possible: FHWA, GDOT, ARC, Fulton & Gwinnett Counties, Johns Creek, the Thomas & Hutton/CHA design team, the KCI inspection team and the Astra construction team.

Three Week Closure of Main Street in Downtown Duluth

Ever heard of growing pains? Of course, growing pains aren’t always fun, but we hear they lead to some pretty great things!

In order to bring our stormwater infrastructure up to current industry standards, Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for three weeks, pending weather conditions starting on June 16.

The roadway will be blocked at the intersection of West Lawrenceville Street and Main Street down to the Main Street entrance to City Hall. The construction zone (Red Zone) will temporarily include the drive aisle that leads from Main Street to the rear parking lot behind Pure/Red Clay/Mathias building, it will cross Main Street and connect to the paver lot construction zone.

For safety reasons, the entire Red Zone will be OFF LIMITS TO PEDESTRIANS.

We’re making the most of those growing pains we mentioned by providing in-street seating, photo ops and occasional live music during the road closure. You know, all those fun community vibes that Duluth is known for!

Be assured that during the closure, full pedestrian access to Town Green and all Downtown businesses will still be available. Please refer to the Yellow Pedestrian Zones on the map that highlight existing paths to Town Green.

Thank you for sticking with us; we promise the new community space being developed in the former paver lot will be worth it.